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Maine Local Secrets 2010

by in May 2010
Maine Local Secrets 2010
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Best Cheese Selection
THE CHEESE IRON, Scarborough
Gorgeous presentation, rare varieties, a ripening room, and a knowledgeable staff add up to a treat for cheeseheads. Add wine and gourmet goodies, and you’ve got a first-class picnic. 200 Route 1. 207-883-4057;

Best Damn Swimming Hole
BRISTOL DAM, Bristol Mills
Mosey down the Pemaquid Peninsula to find this small, roadside pool, created by a dam in the river. A favorite with locals, it’s perfect for a quick heat-relief plunge. Launch your canoe nearby for a pleasant paddle upriver to Pemaquid Pond. Route 130.

Best Fishcakes
THE SURFSIDE, Vinalhaven
Ask islanders about breakfast at this diner-type establishment, and inevitably they’ll rave about the homemade fishcakes served on Sundays (other mornings by chance). Try to snag one of the outdoor tables. Harbor Wharf. 207-863-2767

Best Don’t-Judge-a-Restaurant-by-its-Exterior
Doesn’t look like much outside, but it’s pure tastebud heaven inside, with fresh breads, biscuits, muffins, and doughnuts. Fan favorite: the crabmeat omelet. Breakfast all day; most choices are less than $6. Route 1. 207-338-1524

Best Slice of Heaven
Brother Kenneth Leo and Brother Donald Paul bake divine breads along with sinful whoopie pies and other treats, plus a limited (just two, say) selection of soups and sandwiches. Tables are communal; prayers are free. 21 Central St. 207-947-3770

Best Souvenir Shopping
Some of the nation’s top artisans attend classes here. At the end of each one- or two-week summer session, the public can take a self-guided studio tour from 4 to 6 p.m., returning for the 7:30 preview followed by an auction. Sunshine Road. 207-348-2306;

Best Sweet Deal
In a town of $4 ice cream cones and $7 sandwiches, this old-fashioned soda fountain offers a grilled cheese for less than $2 and a one-scoop cone for $1.49. 105 Main St. 207-288-3318

Best Home Hobby
More than 400 train cars navigate 3,000 feet of track in Buz and Helen Beal’s 900-square-foot Maine Central Railroad model. The detailed landscape includes bridges, trestles, and real Maine towns. Call before visiting; donations appreciated. 207-497-2255

Best Pub for What Ales You
Jen and Chris Lively’s establishment, hidden in the folds of western Maine’s mountains, has 35 Belgian beers on tap, 700 bottled brews, and a beer cellar that holds their 1,000-bottle collection. 44 Allen Road. 207-925-3200

Best Seinfeld Imitation
SOUP FOR YOU, Farmington
Every day this little order-at-the-counter spot turns out six hearty homemade soups in interesting flavors, with options for vegetarians, vegans, and the gluten-sensitive. 222 Broadway. 207-779-0799

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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Updated Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

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One Response to Maine Local Secrets 2010

  1. marilyn August 5, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    This all sound like: I have died and went to heaven expriencing these places….Wow….

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